A delightful timepiece of gracious living plonked in the wilds of Connemara, the pink-washed country house has mature gardens with trails overlooking Bearnaderg Bay and the small mountains, the Twelve Pins of Connemara.
We received a warm wlecome, late at night, with soup and sandwiches brought up to our toasty room by a lovely old lady we wanted to adopt as our grandmother. This set the tone for our weekend...warm, friendly, chatty and not at all stuffy.
Tel: +95 41101
As a true Blue Jackeen (native of Dublin) I love Dublin, but the one thing I always tell visitors (the term "tourist" is very rarely used in Ireland) is by all means enjoy a day and maybe one night in Dublin, have a pint or two in one of the last few remaining decent tradtional pubs (Kehoes, Toners, Dohney & Nesbitts etc) but after that get out of Dublin and head west. Nothing will prepare you for Connemara. The spectacular scenery, the friendly locals, the great pubs and traditional music, fantastic beaches and just a general feeling of being away from it all out on the farthest tip of Western Europe you can get to.
From Galway head for Clifden but make sure to take the road through the Inagh Valley. Spectacular 360 degree walled valley with the beautiful Lake Inagh running through it.
If you have time, take a trip out to Inisboffin Island for a day, wild and unspoilt with two bars and about 80 local residents and a former hideout of the 16th century great Irish Pirate Queen herself Grace O'Malley.
It’s not signposted and its existence is denied by the locals, but this impossibly large beach is the most beautiful strand in Ireland and no-one else seems to know about it. The water is warm and the sand hot, while cattle graze the fringe of grass on the sand dunes. A little graveyard sits uneasily on the weather-worn shore.
The town of Clifden, famous for the first Trans-Atlantic flight having landed there, is a thriving cosmopolitan town with new apartments being built and the pubs and restaurants full.
The old railway station has been carefully incorporated into apartment blocks next to the station hotel. Remnants of the old platform have been kept as part of the walkway, and the old lines, sleepers and signal switches are embedded into the pedestrian area. The locomotive shed and stationmaster’s house are part of the development and even the new block of shops has been sensitively dealt with in the design process. The whole effect works well with vernacular references to the railway, which played a significant part in Clifden’s development.
The area has walks for all abilities in the Connemara National Park.
Going to Clifden is worth it, not only because of the town, but the actual journey is so spectacular with the barren rock landscape surrounded by drowned peat hags fringed with reeds.
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